Zara Tindall is thought to have played a major role in convincing her sister-in-law Autumn Phillips to stay in the UK.
It was revealed earlier this week that Canadian-born Autumn, 41, and Princess Anne’s son Peter, 42, have separated after 12 years of marriage.
A source has now claimed that the Queen’s granddaughter, 38, helped her brother and his wife ‘mediate’ and reassured Autumn she was ‘very much part of the family.’
Zara Tindall, 38, is said to have ‘reassured’ her sister-in-law Autumn Phillips, 41, and played a major role in convincing her to stay in the UK after her divorce (they are pictured during Ladies Day at Royal Ascot last June)
They told the Sun: ‘Zara first stepped in to help mediate the couple when she heard of their struggles last October.
‘Autumn insisted that she wanted to go home to Canada to be near her family, but Zara reassured her that everyone loved her here and she was very much a part of the family.’
When news of Autumn and Peter’s split broke, it was suggested that she could take their two daughters Savannah, nine, and Isla, seven, to live in Canada.
But a spokesperson for the couple later confirmed that Autumn will remain in the UK, where she and Peter have set up home in Gloucestershire.
Friends initially told The Sun that Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s departure from the UK could have spurred on the move.
Autumn and Peter’s daughters are believed to have Canadian citizenship and they could easily live there.
Earlier this week the Queen’s eldest grandson Peter, 42, and Autumn (pictured at St George’s Chapel in Windsor on their 2008 wedding day) have separated and are going to divorce
A source has claimed that Zara helped to ‘mediate’ the couple and told Autumn ‘that everyone loved her’ in England (pictured L-R is Peter, Autumn, Mike Tindall and Zara at Princess Eugenie and Jack Brooksbank’s wedding in October)
The couple are currently living under the same roof at their marital home at Aston Farm, on Princess Anne’s estate Gatcombe Park.
Princess Anne’s daughter Zara also lives on the estate with her husband Mike and daughters Mia and Lena, with whom Savannah and Isla have a close relationship.
The cousins are regularly seen enjoying days out together and having fun playing at the Gatcombe horse trials each year.
People close to the couple have claimed that Mr Phillips is ‘devastated’ with the decision to split.
Peter and Autumn were last seen in public together when they joined the Queen and Prince Charles at the Braemar Highland Games in September last year.
The family did not join other senior royals at church at Sandringham on Christmas Day and Mr Phillips was pictured on the Norfolk estate without his wife last month.
Zara and Autumn both live on Princess Anne’s estate Gatcombe Park and their daughters are often seen enjoying days out together (Autumn is pictured with her two daughters Savannah and Isla with Zara’s eldest Mia in the middle at the Shetland Pony Grand National at Gatcombe)
When news of the split broke, it was suggested Autumn could take her daughters Savannah, nine, and Isla, seven, to live in Canada (the two girls are pictured with their father Peter at Gatcombe Park, Gloucestershire, in August)
Happier times: The family have often spent time together at the Gatcombe Horse Trials over the years (Autumn is seen hugging Peter’s arm as Princess Anne plays with her granddaughter Savannah and daughter Zara in 2012)
The statement issued by Gerard Franklin, the couple’s official spokesperson, reads: ‘After informing HM The Queen and members of both families last year, Peter and Autumn jointly agreed to separate.
‘They had reached the conclusion that this was the best course of action for their two children and ongoing friendship. The decision to divorce and share custody came about after many months of discussions and although sad, is an amicable one.
‘The couple’s first priority will remain the continued well being and upbringing of their wonderful daughters Savannah and Isla.
‘Both families were naturally sad at the announcement, but fully supportive of Peter and Autumn in the joint decision to co-parent their children.
Peter and Autumn (left holding hands in October 2018 with Zara and Mike ahead of Princess Eugenie’s wedding) said their decision to separate came ‘after many months of discussions and although sad, is an amicable one’
‘Both Peter and Autumn have remained in Gloucestershire to bring up their two children where they have been settled for a number of years. Peter and Autumn have requested privacy and compassion for their children while the family continues to adapt to these changes.’
Autumn was born and brought up a Roman Catholic but renounced her faith shortly before their wedding at St George’s Chapel in Windsor in 2008 so her husband-to-be did not have to give up his claim to the throne.
In September, she was spotted with the Queen, Prince Charles and her husband at the annual Highland Games Gathering.
She made a rare appearance alongside Her Majesty at the event, which was held in the small Aberdeenshire village of Braemar.